Critic Reviews

83

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
But I'm making Welcome to the Dollhouse sound like some sort of grim sociological study, and in fact it's a funny, intensely entertaining film.
100
Todd Solondz's grand prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival lapses into satire, but its parodistic slant only exaggerates what is truthful, making the unpleasantness of that awkward age all the more disturbing and hilarious. It's a horror film starring reality in the monster role.
91
Entertainment Weekly
But Solondz also creates keen portraits of the participating characters in Dawn's daily drama. (The only downside: The drama veers unsteadily toward outlandishness.)
89
As Dawn, Matarazzo isn't afraid to evoke the horrors of puberty with a straightforward charmlessness: She's gawky, unhappy, and confused, while her tingling of sexual desire downright gives you the shivers.
88
USA Today
Welcome to the Dollhouse does, with accessible dark comedy and chilling honesty, reminding us right off that school-cafeteria agonies only begin with the cuisine. [24 May 1996 Pg.04.D]
88
Hilarious and stunningly frank, writer-director Todd Solondz's evocation of awkward adolescence is a bracing antidote to the counterfeit nostalgia of "The Wonder Years" or "My So-Called Life".
80
Empire
It may not be to everybody's taste, but this is a daring antidote to its more saccharine cousins.
75
Solondz ("Fear, Anxiety and Depression") is almost unrelenting in his quirky fixation with the adolescent outsider and he pursues visions of everyday human injury nearly to the point of caricature. But he stops just short, and this amusingly twisted film mixes humor and heart-tugging sadness with a disturbing vitality.
75
ReelViews
In this impressive debut, Solonz doesn't pull any punches in conveying the side of junior high that "The Wonder Years" never depicted: the naked cruelty that some boys and girls suffer at the hands of their classmates, their teachers, and even members of their own family.
75
Christian Science Monitor
Todd Solondz's movie begins like a suburban ugly-duckling tale with many comic overtones, but it grows darker as it goes along, evoking dangers that youngsters must be alert to in today's world - from drugs to child abuse - and showing how cruel children can be to one another when grownups aren't around.

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